Article #78, February, 2009
Is Your Marketing Making You Miserable?
Do you enjoy marketing your business?
For start-up businesses (really, the first 5 years), it is common to spend 85 percent of your time marketing. So, if you spend 5 hours per week actually servicing your clients, and you realistically work about 50 hours per week, you should be spending 38 hours per week marketing.
That's a lot of time for marketing! That's about 160 hours per month.
If you really don't like your marketing, then having your own business can get to be a big drag very quickly. What can you do about it?
First, identify and evaluate all of your marketing activities, then prioritize them in order of 'fun.' There are probably a lot of marketing activities you actually enjoy, and you don't even realize they are marketing. Here are some examples:
- Attending networking events
- Studying your competitors online
- Creating content for your website
- Building relationships with potential strategic alliances - otherwise known as having coffee
- Sales meetings
Of course, there are many, many more marketing activities you could be doing, and some of them are not as much fun. Also, your idea of fun is probably different than mine, but you get the point.
Anyone who has ever had any kind of job knows that there are always parts of it that you don't like, and so it is with owning a business. However, there should also always be parts that are terrific, or you should do something else.
After identifying the fun level of the marketing actions you use to get clients, do another analysis. Which ones work the best to get you clients?
Take a look at the activities you don't really like, but that bring you clients. Figure out why you don't like them. If it is because you are uncomfortable doing them, like networking, you can learn to do them better. When your confidence level increases, so will your success and your enjoyment.
You have certainly heard that people fear public speaking, and that is a big part of networking. If you can increase your confidence, you will have a leg up on your competition!
Do you fear 'closing the sale'? Does this fear take all the fun out of the sales meeting for you? This is particularly a problem for women. It is not as difficult as you think it is! Most of the close is actually done throughout the meeting, as you make sure you are the right person for their needs. When you get to the end, ask this question, "How would you like to move forward?" Then, be quiet and wait for an answer. Brilliant, right?
This is not the fix for everything, but it helps. Study sales experts and practice and soon you will really enjoy the sales meetings, whether the prospect says yes or no! In the sales meeting, have the goal be to solve their problems and you will have a lot more fun.
If you really do not enjoy much of anything about your marketing, look around at what else you could be doing. There is no rule that says you can only do the same things your competitors do. See what other professionals in other types of businesses do to get clients and see what fits your industry, your personality and your target market.
Life is short. Have fun or do something else.